The tree is felled and the bark comes off. Both are great firewood and they are ready to go on the back of the ute. But hold on, what is that? A lady beetle? Two lady beetles! Lots of them, hundreds of them! All in the middle of a catstrophy -a treequake of deadly proportions. Every piece of loose bark that comes off as I saw exposes yet another nest. I have done a terrible thing. I destroyed, in a mighty treequake, as I cut down the tree, their winter quarter which, under the bark of mountain wattle seems so much drier and warmer than under Eucalypts. They thought they were safe – no thought of the future in their little winterworld. Safe they thought! I carry all the bits I cut off back, reconnect the wood segments as good as I can and put the bark back on. Patchwork and compromise but better than nothing!
I have tried out my new Stihl chainsaw today. The latest model of mid-sized chainsaws with all the latest new technology. More powerful little engine, ‘easy start’ and tungsten chain which stays much longer sharp. My two chainsaws have been providing us with our winterwarmth for almost 25 years now and, as much as I fear and dislike them at one level –they are very much like firearms I think, they can be misused- they are extremely useful. Sometimes without us knowing or caring they wreak havoc and what happens in a felled forest does not bear thinking.
Everything we do, so it seems, has some unforeseen, often unintended consequences. What is in our world just an inconsequential cut with the chainsaw, mostly unnoticed while we make firewood, has been a catastrophy for a little ladybird species next to wishwell forest.
Still I have tried to put things right again. I have not removed the tree, and tried to get it back as it used to be. Lying on the ground now, where rain and ground moisture can seep in, it is not the ideal wintering habitat as it once was. But at least they have time now, during a sonny day to find winterquarter in one of the remaining standing dead wattle trees. I have to stop harvesting them for firewood. I will have to be more careful- but not too careful either, otherwise we will be cold in winter.
Patchwork and compromise, wherever one cares to look, but still!
~ Jbauer, 4HillsNatureArt, 2 May, 2015